Improving healthcare planning in rural Myanmar: a clinical and quality of life based study

Evelyn Bonney, Sudirman bin Othman, Jeff Evans, W.George Kernohan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Myanmar regularly experiences severe cyclones (three in the past 10 years), storm surges, floods, landslides, major earthquakes (two in the past 10 years). In addition it is torn by conflict, drought and forest fires. Recent policies by the Myanmar government have set new aims for healthcare provision within the country. Addressing disparities between rural communities and urban health care provision is a priority. The aim of this study was to identify the primary health needs of a rural population in Myanmar, to inform the planning and design of future initiatives. The study was conducted at a Red Cross clinic in rural Myanmar. Clinical parameters were measured on all consenting patients and health related quality-of-life data was collected using a short survey. We found a high rate of comorbidities and lifestyle modifiable risks factors such as hypertension and areca nut use within the population (33% n=43 and 52% n= 68 respectively). Within the six quality-of-life domains, the population had and lower than average mean scores for the social functioning, mental health and health perception domains (61.8, 63.3 and 50.6 respectively). Gender difference was noted, with women having lower quality-of-life scores than men in all of the six health domains. Correlations were found between the clinical and lifestyle risk factors. For example, those who consumed betel nut, had a significantly lower mean mental health domain score compared to the rest of the sample (67 v 60 respectively; p=0.04). Subjects identified as overweight were significantly more likely to have hypertension (P = 0.001) and lower scores in the SF20 physical functioning domain compared to the normal and underweight groups (P=0.006). There was no statistically significant difference in co morbidities and SF 20 scores between those who had access to doctors and those who did not. In conclusion, nurse, voluntary health worker or midwife lead health promotion activities, which target modifiable risk factors, may result in improved healthcare in this community.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProc 5th World Society of Disaster Nursing Conference
Subtitle of host publicationFuture Challenges for Global Disaster Risk Management - Evidence based Research and Powerful Competencies Needed for Nurses
PublisherUniversitat Bremen
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 18 Oct 2018
EventWorld Society of Disaster Nursing: 5th Research Conference - SWISS HOTEL, BREMEN , Germany
Duration: 18 Oct 201819 Oct 2018


ConferenceWorld Society of Disaster Nursing
Abbreviated titleWSDN
Internet address


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